Show started and stayed in Hawaii
WHEN Gilad Janklowicz was a young boy in Israel, he loved to go out and play. And so one day he came home and told his father he'd just set the school record in the shot put.
"That's great," his father said.
Then he came home and said he set the school record in the sprints.
"That's great," young Gilad's dad said again.
Then he came home and told his father he'd set the record for jumping.
"That's great," his father said. "But maybe you should make up your mind. You can't be doing everything."
But Gilad could. He did follow his father's advice and picked one event. The decathlon (10 events).
And he was very good. He was one of the top youth decathletes in all of Israel. But then he turned 18.
And in Israel, "When you turn 18, everybody goes into the military," Gilad Janklowicz said. "Boys and girls alike. There's no questions asked, you go."
He went. The Jewish Sports Hall of Fame says he was on the front lines in the Sinai in 1973, evacuating the injured. Later, he was made a "fitness officer." He trained entire bases. He did that for about two and a half years.
But he dreamed of the Olympics. Israel is a small country, and sometimes it feels like everybody knows everybody, and Gilad knew Olympians. He'd trained with them at Israel's only athletic training center. In 1972, 11 Israeli athletes were murdered by terrorists at the Munich summer games. Now, he was training with athletes who had been on that team.
He dreamed of 1980, of representing his country. He set Israel's national decathlon record. He came to the United States to better prepare.
In Los Angeles, he trained with Russ Hodge, an all-time great, who had always been blitzed by injuries, in his day. Things were going well.
Then he was injured himself. An Achilles' tendon, torn. It was over.
But then as he rehabbed he found people wanted to work with him.
And so Gilad became a fitness officer again.
Southern California in the late '70s was the perfect time and place for a personal trainer to become an occupation. He was a good one. He studied film at UCLA, too, but with this workout thing, he was on to something.
In 1981, someone suggested he move to Hawaii, and he did. Soon, he was well known as a fitness instructor in this town, too.
A guy at then-Channel 13 told him he should have his own show.
"Bodies in Motion" began in 1983. "It's been running ever since," Gilad Janklowicz said.
It was on Channel 13, locally, for two years. Then ESPN for 11 years, Fox Sports for five years, Web MD for three years. Now it's on Fit TV (FITV, Channel 51 on regular cable, he said), a branch of the Discovery Channel.
Bette Midler's character got fit to "Bodies in Motion" in the movie "Ruthless People."
"I'm actually more known on the mainland than I am in Hawaii," he said, which makes sense.
He's been featured in all the magazines. Been on all the morning shows. But the whole time, he's lived here. (He has dual citizenship, now.)
They've shot from 60 different locations, all over Oahu and on other islands, too. Maui, Kauai, the Big Island. He's always scouting shots. Beaches. Sunsets.
Now, with Fit TV, he's doing two shows. In every episode, he gets to go out and play.
He said he could take anyone -- anyone. Overweight. Never exercised. Could take them all and three months later have a changed life. But he doesn't have time these days. He spends long hours putting that film-school background to good use.
All his classes are through the camera, these days. Group sessions in the Hawaii sun. From the Israeli army to Olympic hopeful to fitness king.